Communication Strategies From A 9 Year Old

Close communicationIn my private practice as a Hypnotherapist I encounter many amazing people. All of which are searching for answers. All wanting to know when I will wave the magic wand and make their life better. The funny thing is… I wish it were that simple.

Although I do not have a wand, I do have helpful advice and effective tools to make the path of success, happiness and prosperity easier for you. When you really break it down it is all about how we communicate in this world.

Here’s a therapy story to ponder in your adult mind for a while…

A few years ago, a lady from one of my conflict management seminars called my office with a request to bring her young son in for counseling. “He is acting out in school, being mean to his siblings and is very disrespectful to his family,” she expressed. “He needs some serious help and I want you to fix him right away!”

His name was Chris and he was only 9 years old. We booked an appointment and they came a few days later. As mother and son sat on my couch, I began with the usual questions to find a strategy for his therapy. I asked Chris what was going on. With tears in his eyes, he told me that his father was in jail, kids were being mean to him at school and he was upset that he had to be the man in the family now.

I understood his anger and said we needed to establish some ground rules for our therapy sessions together.
Upon saying the word “rules” I saw a little flinch from Chris. Very observant of behavior, I quickly adjusted my thoughts and said: “I don’t know if I like the word rules, do you?” He said he didn’t.

“Well, we need to call them something… What else could we call these rules.” I asked.
Chris sat up in his chair, thought very carefully and said: “Let’s call them Strategies!”

“Great!” I said, “What are some Strategies we need to have for good communication?”
“We need to Listen to each other”, he said, “And when one person is talking the other person should be listening,”

Hmmm. That is very good! What else do we need to have? I asked, very amused.
“We need to have really good Eye Contact.”

Eye Contact! Well, by now my ears perked up and I started taking notes from this intelligent child!
“Can you think of anything else?” I asked excitedly!

“Yes,” we need to have Respect for each other’s feelings and remember to be nice.”

I was floored! I asked his mom if she taught him the tools from our last seminar she attended. She said no. Then I turned to Chris, “Did you sneak into one of my seminars last week? Was that you hiding under the table?”

He giggled and said no. I asked him where he learned to be such a good communicator. “It’s just the way it should be,” he replied.

Just the way it should be… This young boy understood the key factors of communication at the age of 9 that usually takes most adults years to figure out! And isn’t it funny- it wasn’t the boy who needed the guidance that day. It was his mother. He was aware there was a problem in the home, but didn’t know how to handle his emotions so he acted them out.

That was the most inspirational sessions I ever had over 20 years of doing therapy. It validated the fact that all we really want in life is to be listened to. To feel important at home, in our relationships, at our jobs, as customers and as people! All we want to know is that we “DO” matter.

So, take a moment out of your busy schedule today and make someone you know feel special. Go ahead and be a great communicator by listening, having good eye contact and showing respect in the world. Chris would be proud of your new strategy for life!

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